An investigation against clerics suspected of spying on opponents of the Turkish government has been closed, the German Federal Prosecutors Office in Karlsruhe said Wednesday.

The investigation was primarily against 19 imams affiliated with the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DITIB), Germany's largest Islamic umbrella group.

They had been under investigation for allegedly spying on followers of US-based Turkish preacher Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkey blames for the July 2016 failed coup attempt.

The prosecutor's office said that seven suspects had fled Germany and therefore could not be charged. In another seven cases there was insufficient evidence to proceed.

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